【2023/9/16】Mai Hontama lost to Ashlyn Krueger

Singles’ semi-finals of Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships 2023 were played on the 16th. The only Japanese player left in the draw, Mai Hontama lost to 19-year old Ashlyn Krueger of USA with the score of 3-6,3-6.

Hontama fought hard against Krueger by rallying and using her quickness but today, her opponent came out on top. Krueger ripped apart Hontama’s defense not only with her powerful forehands but also with her precisely angled backhands. “Krueger has powerful shots. I didn’t fall apart but she played beautifully,” Hontama said. This was Hontama’s first WTA Tour semi-finals. She reflects back on this week by saying “the biggest accomplishment this week is that I gained confidence about my game.” She changed from a game style of staying around the baseline to a style that puts her at the net to aggressively score points.

For Hontama who is challenging to learn a new game style, her 2nd round victory over Nadia Podoroska of Argentina was particularly fruitful.

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